The Redskins Should Shop Brian Orakpo

7:51 AM, Feb 6, 2013   |    comments
Brian Orakpo's value has decreased thanks to Rob Jackson (USA TODAY SPORTS IMAGES)
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- In any sport, when your team makes the playoffs, it's probably a pretty good idea to keep the roster in tact.

With that being said, the Washington Redskins front office brass will have some tough decisions to make in the upcoming month. Several of the players listed below have exceeded their expectations, and will certainly garner contract offers from opposing teams.

In all likelihood, the Redskins will have to ask players like DeAngelo Hall ($8.3 million cap hit), Jammal Brown ($5 million cap hit) and Santana Moss ($6.3 million cap hit) to either restructure their contracts, or hit the road.

But even before then, the Redskins will have to make a priority list of their 2013 free agents. Here's my top five in order.

1) Tight End, Fred Davis (Unrestricted)

It's hard to believe that Davis is already 27-years-old. But regardless of his checkered off-the-field past and injury history, Davis was Robert Griffin's most productive target in the first half of the season. In five seasons with the Redskins, Davis has just 12 touchdowns, which seems kind of underwhelming. But ultimately his speed and effectiveness in routes over the middle -- Griffin's favorite area to throw -- will make it extremely difficult to let Davis walk. I expect these negotiations to take awhile. Remember Davis was franchise tagged in 2012 after a long standoff with the team. 

Estimated contract figure: 4-years, $33 million

Chances the Redskins sign him: 82 percent

2) Linebacker, Rob Jackson (Unrestricted)

Most of you are going to heavily disagree with me, but I thought Rob Jackson's 2012 season was more impactful than any season Brian Orakpo has ever had with the Redskins. Jackson's interception against Dallas in week 17 helped clinch the division. His sack on Monday Night Football against the Giants changed the momentum of the game. He forced a fumble AND recovered it to start the third quarter against the Ravens, sending Baltimore into an offensive tailspin. It's easy to argue Washington may have missed the playoffs without these big-time plays from Jackson.

Is Jackson, 27, an elite pass rusher? Not at all. That's what Ryan Kerrigan is for. Is he a playmaker that has a knack for coming up clutch when it matters the most? Absolutely. Washington's defense in the second half of the season was outstanding, and Jackson's skills in coverage had a bulk to do with it.

The Redskins should not only re-sign Rob Jackson, but they should shop Orakpo for draft picks or extra help in the secondary. The 2013 season will be Orakpo's last on his five-year, $20 million deal. His rookie campaign with 11 sacks in 2009, with coach Jim Zorn, seems eons ago. If "Sack-Po" isn't able to produce at that level next season, he might be sent packing.

Estimated contract figure: 3-years, $8 million.

Chances the Redskins re-sign him: 50 percent.

3) Linebacker, Lorenzo Alexander (Unrestricted)

Two things that should worry Redskins fans: Does Lorenzo Alexander want to start in the NFL, or could special teams coach Danny Smith lure him to Pittsburgh? There's no doubting 29-year-old Pro Bowler has become a fixture in the community and a fan favorite. On the surface it seems like the warmhearted Alexander values being a Redskin, but he's also a competitor. Is he okay with solely being a special-teamer and a reserve? Does he want to spend crucial moments of games on the bench?

Estimated contract figure: 3-years, $13.5 million.

Chances the Redskins re-sign him: 70 percent

4) Fullback, Darrel Young (Restricted)

Young, in my mind, is the most underrated Redskin on the team. If you plug in a lower-tier fullback in his place, the Redskins pistol attack offense would have suffered greatly. The 25-year-old made just $540,000 in 2012 and is due for bump in pay.

Estimated contract figure: 4-years, $9.2 million

Chances the Redskins re-sign him: 98 percent.

5) Tight End, Logan Paulsen (Restricted)

When I first heard the Redskins were interested in several tight ends during January's Senior Bowl, I was caught a little off guard. Paulsen flourished when Fred Davis went down with an injury -- 25 catches, 308 yards and a touchdown. Paulsen's skill set is quite the opposite of Davis -- a slower blocker with ability to play special teams. He's only 25, too. Mike Shanahan may want someone more athletic, sliding Paulsen back to his previous role of third-string tight end.

Estimated contract figure: 4-years, $5 million

Chances the Redskins re-sign him: 81 percent

Others that will be re-signed

Guard, Kory Lichtensteiger (Unrestricted); long-snapper Nick Sundberg (Restricted)

Players that will be released

Tight end Chris Cooley, Return man Brandon Banks, safety Madieu Williams.

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